Bawku Central MP petitions OSP over BoG
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Bawku Central, Mahama Ayariga, has petitioned the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) to investigate suspected corruption in the procurement process of the new headquarters of the Bank of Ghana (BoG).
The petition noted that the BoG had originally priced the project at $100,857,924.48 for 73,000sq.m but got the project awarded to Messrs. Goldkey Properties Limited, in the same year, at a contract sum of $121,807,8517.94.
It said a subsequent variation of the scope of works of about 36.9 per cent increase saw a project cost escalation of 84 per cent increase which had resulted in the about 107.737sq.m building project now costing $222,799,760.55.
It mentioned the Governor and Deputy Governors of the Bank of Ghana, namely: Dr Ernest Addison (Governor), Dr Maxwell Opoku-Afari, First Deputy Governor, and Mrs Elsie Addo Awadzi, Second Deputy Governor as some of the persons to be investigated.
The petition said members of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer of Messrs Goldkey Properties Ltd, the contractors, should also be investigated.
“The project consultants supervising the work should also be investigated.
In spite of a written request to the Governor of the Bank of Ghana under the Right to Information Act, the Governor and his team have not been able to explain to me how there was a price escalation from $121,807,8517.94 to $222,799,760.55 (about 84 per cent) when the scope of work increased from 73,000 square metres to about 107,737 square metres (36.9 per cent),” it said.
The petition noted that when the NDC Members of Parliament (MP) led a public demonstration to demand the accountability of the Governor and his Deputy Governors, the Governor asked them to use institutional mechanisms to hold him accountable.
“When I wrote to the Governor for an explanation, he responded to me in a letter dated August 22, 2023 and referenced SFGEN7202375 to the effect that he was unable to provide me with the full details of the project design variation which has led to the price escalation for reasons of National Security,” the petition said.
It said the refusal to explain the price escalation made him suspicious of corruption in the procurement.
“I believe the Office of the Special Prosecutor has jurisdiction to investigate all cases of suspected "corruption and corruption-related offences" by public officers and private persons working with public officials under section 2(a) and 79 of The Office of Special Prosecutor Act, 2017 (Act 959),” it said.
“I am ready to testify to all the facts I have come across in this matter and I believe your office will be able to obtain all the details of the variations of the project design and costing variations to arrive at a conclusion on this matter,” the petition stressed.
The petition said it counted on the OSP to carry out a thorough investigation of this matter and “brief the Ghanaian people appropriately and where necessary to carry out prosecutions”.